Why Must Michael Bay Focus So Much on the Robots?

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You probably visit Michael Bay’s website a lot. I know I do. How else will I know what Michael Bay is thinking? But I have to say I was disappointed in his New Year’s Eve entry. He wrote:

“For the millions of viewers that logged on this year I want to thank you for the support. ‘Transformers 2’ will be coming soon. The new robots are really really unique and there are a lot of them this time.”

So there will be a lot of robots “this time.” (Unlike last time?) That’s great, but what about the humans? Mr. Bay seems to be focusing solely on the robot characters, and while I agree that they’re a crucial part of the story, they’re certainly not the most important. If Mr. Bay thinks I go to a Transformers movie solely to see giant space robots that turn into cars, he is sadly mistaken!

Will the sequel continue to explore the budding romance between Sam Witwicky and Mikaela Barnes, played so memorably in the original by Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox? These are two refreshingly original characters, and their relationship stirs the soul on so many levels. It would be a shame if the sequel pushed those elements aside in favor of more action. I am also curious to know whether Mikaela will ever be successful in finding a shirt that fits her.

I was moved by the story of Capt. William Lennox (Josh Duhamel), the military officer who has a wife and new baby at home waiting for him. I bit my nails down to the nubs during the film, hoping he would make it out OK and return to his family! The sequel would be terribly remiss if it didn’t address the issues the Lennoxes must surely face now. How is William adjusting to civilian life? Does he suffer from any post-traumatic stress? How does he fill his days?

And let me go on the record now as saying that a Transformers movie without Jon Voight as Defense Secretary John Keller is no Transformers movie at all!

Was I the only one who sensed sparks flying between the smart-aleck computer hacker Glen Whitmann (Anthony Anderson) and the beautiful Australian computer genius Maggie Madsen (Rachael Taylor)? I know it’s not typical for the overweight African American comic relief character to wind up with the gorgeous blonde — and that’s exactly why I’d like to see the Transformers sequel break those boundaries! Show us the hidden depths of emotion in these characters! Prove to us that there really is “more than meets the eye.”

What about Mrs. Witwicky’s flower garden? After the first movie’s suspenseful 45-minute sequence in which the Autobots trampled everything and tore up the lawn, I’m fearful that Sam’s mother will blame him for it. Will it harm their mother-son bond? Will the sequel show the garden replanted and thriving once again? Or will it still be wrecked, a sad monument to the shenanigans of the first film? I’m eager to see which direction Mr. Bay goes with this.

I’m grateful that Paramount is taking the dangerous financial risk of even making a sequel, and I’m overjoyed that Michael Bay is again on board as the film’s director, mastermind, and creative guru. To Mr. Bay I say this: I know the temptation to cram the sequel full of robots will be great. But please do not forsake the rich, memorable human characters that made the first film such an artistic marvel. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say you could do away with the robots altogether and still have a fascinating, deeply moving story!

— Film.com